4:07 PM, Oct 7, 2015 • By MARK HEMINGWAY
In August, six Republican presidential candidates appeared at a forum to discuss education reform in New Hampshire hosted by Campbell Brown. Brown, the former NBC news anchor and CNN host, has just launched a news website, The Seventy Four, dedicated to covering issues related to education reform. Brown was set to host a similar forum with Democrats in Iowa this month to be co-sponsored with the Des Moines Register, but Brown has a history of being critical of unions putting up roadblocks to education reform. Politico reports that Democratic candidates have been scared off of partocipating in the forum by the risk of losing union support:
“What happened here is very clear: The teachers unions have gotten to these candidates,” Brown told POLITICO. “All we asked is that these candidates explain their vision for public education in this country, and how we address the inequality that leaves so many poor children behind. … President [Barack] Obama certainly never cowered to the unions. Even if they disagree with the president’s reforms, you would think these candidates would at least have the courage to make the case.”
None of the campaigns would discuss the forum on the record. Union officials would not confirm that they exerted pressure on the candidates to skip it, but they are not fond of Brown or her advocacy against teacher tenure in public schools. In the past, they have portrayed her as a corporate-funded elitist doing the bidding of Republicans; Brown is a registered independent, but her husband, Dan Senor, is a former Bush administration official who served as a spokesman for the Iraq war.
When asked to comment on the forum, Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers and a close ally of Hillary Clinton, issued a harsh statement about Brown.
“Campbell Brown is entitled to her opinion about public education, but the Democrats running for president — along with American voters — have a different vision,” Weingarten said.
While it's disappointing that Democratic candidates won't go on record to discuss education reform, such cowardice is also not surprising. Teachers unions are very influential in the Democratic party and have a track record of responding poorly to richly deserved criticism.
11:01 AM, Jun 4, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
New York City has become a central battlefield in the fight over school choice and education reform since Bill de Blasio, an ally of the teachers unions and opponent of charter schools, became mayor in January. De Blasio decided early on in his administration to force out charter schools like Harlem Success Academy (founded by de Blasio's longtime political opponent Eva Moskowitz) from open space in public school buildings. The negative response was overwhelming, with even New York's Democratic governor Andrew Cuomo coming out forcefully against de Blasio's anti-charter schools move.
A reclamation project for higher ed.Sep 30, 2013, Vol. 19, No. 04 • By DAVID GELERNTER
This school-reopening season ought to be a time of deep pondering and self-examination for conservatives and everyone else who cares about the future of this nation and the world. It’s time to notice how little we have done about the most powerful, dangerous, reactionary force in America today: the schools establishment, and the hundred or so purebred, pedigreed universities that trot forward at the head of the ongoing black comedy called American education.
2:57 PM, Sep 18, 2013 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Bobby Jindal is outraged over a Department of Justice lawsuit against a Louisiana school voucher program. The suit, which he (repeatedly) calls “cynical, immoral, and hypocritical” and the “worst misuse” of federal desegregation laws, aims to stop a program that allows poor students in failing schools to enter a lottery for a voucher to attend a better school.
Toby Young’s astonishing second career as an education reformerJun 17, 2013, Vol. 18, No. 38 • By SAM SCHULMAN
5:07 PM, Feb 29, 2012 • By JOY PULLMANN
In the weeks between announcing the nation’s farthest-reaching education agenda and its reception in the Louisiana legislature upon opening March 12, Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal has departed from his usual consensus-building to take on teacher unions.
12:00 PM, Jul 1, 2011 • By JOY PULLMAN
Despite the Wisconsin political circus of late, state Republicans have expanded the oldest voucher program in the nation within a much-needed deficit-cutting budget. Gov. Scott Walker (R) signed the bill Sunday. It included a provision axing the cap on Milwaukee's school vouchers program (previously set at 22,500) and expanding it to the entire district and the neighboring Racine school district.
10:25 AM, May 3, 2011 • By RYAN STREETER
He has been the subject of ongoing 2012 presidential speculation. His fiscal fortitude in Indiana has been widely covered, and his controversial “truce” remarks on social issues have sparked heated debate. But to date, Indiana governor Mitch Daniels has received very little national exposure for his most important policy initiative: taking Indiana from the backwaters of education reform in America to the forefront.
An educational opportunity.12:00 AM, Mar 25, 2010 • By GARY ANDRES
President Obama missed a host of opportunities to remedy Washington’s fever of polarization during the health care debate. Instead of forging a bipartisan coalition and ratcheting back the campaign-style rhetoric, he agreed to a one-party strategy and consistently demonized his opponents with over the top rhetoric.
Mr. Obama also falsely raised citizens’ expectations that one bill or a new government program could remedy all that ails us. Government is no wonder drug. It cannot deliver all the life altering promises on the president’s wish list.
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